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Workshop teaches Habitat families about gardening

June 30th, 2011 9:38 pm by Madison Mathews

Eight-year-old Emily Lord wasn’t going to waste any time putting her newfound horticulture skills to work after participating in Thursday morning’s Summer Kidz Workshop offered by Holston Habitat for Humanity and Evergreen of Johnson City.
By Thursday afternoon, Emily had already made plans to plant the three plants she and her sister Sara received during the class in her family’s yard.
“I like it a lot,” she said. “It’s very exciting to do it, and I want to do my own because I learned everything about it.”
The workshop aimed to teach Habitat families about the joys of gardening. After learning some basic facts about plants, including the difference between perennials and annuals, the nine kids in attendance got a chance to try their hand at planting their very own take-home plants.
But it wasn’t just the kids who learned a few new things about gardening. Emily and Sara’s mother, Tonya Lord, also learned a thing or two about plants and the various environments in which they can be grown.
“I really enjoyed it. I even learned things that I wasn’t aware of as well, so it was nice to get know everything and stuff,” Tonya said.
Tonya said both her daughters enjoyed the experience of learning how to plant and were even planning on doing more with the hobby.
“They were really excited and everything and they said they wanted to do their own little garden and everything, so that’s really neat knowing that they want to do something like that,” she said.
This was the first time the Holston Habitat held a workshop geared toward kids.
Alanna Leonberg, family services coordinator for Holston Habitat, said it was designed to help involve children in the process of owning a home. The class acted as a way for kids to earn “sweat equity,” or work done by Habitat families to help contribute to the ministry.
Leonberg said children are typically left out of the process because they aren’t allowed to work at a construction site.
“This is something fun and educational that younger kids can do where they feel like they’re contributing to the families’ goal of home ownership,” she said.
Phyllis Thompson, chair of the Family Support Commitee and member of the Holston Habitat Board of Directors, said the event was a “blooming success” for all of the families that participated.
“The kids had a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun, but it was educational too,” she said.
Leonberg said she hoped learning about gardening was a habit that stuck, because it’s important for homeowners to take pride in their homes and yards.
“Hopefully, these children will be inspired to pick up the shovel at home and work in the yard,” she said.
Thompson agreed.
“This is Habitat for Humanity. It’s about loving our habitat. Loving our earth and making it more beautiful together with other people,” she said.

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